It’s tough to be in a relationship with someone who can’t seem to stop asking for more time, more attention, and more reassurance.
That’s the kind of person who is often labeled “needy”.
But being needy can ruin an otherwise healthy relationship and make you feel horrible about yourself.
So to avoid being a needy boyfriend, follow these 11 helpful hints.
1) Take time to appreciate yourself.
You have to realize that your partner loves you for who you are and has great respect for what you can and cannot do. Accept that and be grateful for it.
The root of your neediness may come from having low self-esteem. If you don’t love yourself enough, it’s hard to believe that someone else is loving you.
Some reasons why you have low self-esteem are:
- You have a negative self-image
- You feel like you are always not enough
- You always worry that one day your girlfriend will just leave you
- You’ve been criticized by others
- You were badly hurt from your past relationship
When you look down on yourself, the tendency is, you will always ask or seek demands and validations from your girlfriend.
She may find this “cute” at the beginning of the relationship, but in the long run, she will find it annoying and will make her think that you are a weak and insecure person.
This type of communication is a classic example of trying to control your partner and expecting her to be your doormat.
Think of this: when you start hard-nosed demanding, you are really just being insecure about yourself.
When you spare some time to appreciate the good things about yourself, this may add self-confidence and positive thoughts about you.
Now, check yourself, you may be good at:
- listening to your partner’s ideas, stories, and feelings
- giving hugs and massages
- making her smile through the little things
You don’t have to be great at huge things, even the little things are enough proof that there are many things about yourself that you can be proud of.
By doing little things that you are good at, you will feel better about yourself and the relationship you have with your special someone.
2) Understand how your partner sees you.
“When you view yourself through the eyes of someone who cares deeply about you, it’s hard not to feel good about yourself.”
– Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man)
It is impossible for your partner to show interest in the good things about you ALL the time. That would be very boring for everyone involved.
However, when she just doesn’t see anything good about you, it makes you feel bad. So it’s very important that you realize that your partner may not always have positive things to say about your positive qualities.
Why would someone want to be with you if they don’t see any positive qualities in you?
Do you know where I’m getting to? That’s because, despite the things that you are not, you are someone worthy of their love.
You have to understand that your partner loves you for who you are and what you can do.
She doesn’t think of you as a great guy or a lousy person. But, you are her person.
She sees the good stuff about you and all the things that you’re good at, not only your negative qualities.
As you share memories and experiences together, expect your girlfriend to be the person that will see through your future together.
3) Don’t take any criticism personally.
Some of the criticism you may get from your partner is not meant for you.
Your partner might say something to make herself look good, or to blame someone else because she can’t be responsible for her own actions and behaviors and needs to blame someone else.
Just let it go and move on. It’s much nicer to focus on the things about yourself that everyone loves rather than trying to pick apart the criticisms that hurt so bad.
Even if it is hard, try to be positive about yourself. Sometimes people may say negative things about what you don’t do well, but you have to realize that it’s not about the things that you can’t do, but the things that you can do.
But when it comes to experiencing criticisms from other people, it could be that you’re not living your life aligned with a deeper sense of purpose.
The consequences of not finding your purpose in life include a general sense of frustration, listlessness, dissatisfaction, and a sense of not being connected with your inner self.
It’s difficult to overcome neediness when you’re not feeling in sync.
I learned a new way to discover my purpose after watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself. He explains that most people misunderstand how to find their purpose, using visualization and other self-help techniques.
However, visualization isn’t the best way to find your purpose. Instead, there’s a new way to do it which Justin Brown learned from spending time with a shaman in Brazil.
After watching the video, I discovered my purpose in life and it dissolved my feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction.
This helped me to avoid thinking too much of the things that other people say negatively about me.
4) Be more independent.
Live your life the way you want and make your own decisions.
Maybe you’re reading this article far enough and a question comes up in your mind:
“What’s wrong with being needy, anyway?”
Really, is it so wrong to be a needy boyfriend? Since in fact, people need each other.
We need other people to help us achieve our goals and support us when we’re down.
We need to feel loved, cared and appreciated.
Also, if you find yourself being very needy in a relationship, it means that you love your partner so much that you really care about her happiness. This is a great thing! In fact, this could be one of the best signs of true love.
When people are needy in a relationship, it’s because they want their partners to feel loved and supported just like how the person giving the affection feels about their partners.
To explain further this, the founder of Ideapod, Justin Brown, shares an insightful piece about being needy and how to embrace it healthily, watch it here:
5) Don’t expect or demand compliments.
Everyone has their own opinions and levels of confidence so take any criticism of yourself in stride.
If your partner isn’t going to compliment you, it is most likely that they aren’t going to compliment anyone else either.
It doesn’t mean they don’t love or appreciate you; it means they are humble and they value your qualities.
Another way to get attention is to pay attention to your girlfriend, and when they deserve it, tell them how you feel.
Now, a strong relationship is a two-way street.
Rather than demanding compliments, give them out to your girlfriend instead.
You have to take time to listen to her and also give her support. Show that you care about what she has to say and it will ensure that she feels important in the relationship.
Let her know how special she is because this will help her feel important too.
You can make compliments sound genuine by not giving them to her every time she does something good. Instead, you can praise a good quality several times before complimenting something else.
By giving praise in this way, you’ll feel better about yourself and other people, especially your girlfriend, will start to see it too.
In this way, compliments will be given to you like it’s a natural thing between the two of you.
6) Stop being jealous.
Let me tell you this: jealousy is useless.
Jealousy means that you can’t trust your partner and you doubt their loyalty, which is a sign of a weak person.
If you do this, it will make your girlfriend feel uncomfortable rather than safe and secure.
And what is a relationship without trusting your significant other?
Instead, you should leave all these feelings to yourself, burn the container holding this, and let go of the ashes, because jealousy won’t help your relationship.
Some of the things you do that show you don’t trust your girlfriend are:
- checking her phone without her knowing
- texting or calling her friend to see if she’s really with them
- building a fence between her and her guy friend/s whenever there’s a hangout
- not letting her see her friends since some of them are guys
- blowing up her phone for texts and calls after she failed to respond to your “good night” text
You should focus on building your trust with your partner instead of trying to monitor them.
When you have trust in your partner, then you have nothing to worry about because being jealous isn’t going to help anything.
Believe in her love for you and start building your relationship with trust.
7) Accept change.
Everyone changes as they grow older, including you and your partner, so be prepared for that inevitable change when it comes about in your relationship.
Let me remind you that it’s a conscious choice to change or not.
If you choose not to accept change, then you are stuck the way you are and you’ll never be able to grow and improve.
If you can’t change your ways, then you’re going to, trust me on this, live a miserable life, so man up and get ready for some positive changes.
A relationship should be an evolving one as well. Some of the things you do together might not always work out for the best anymore, but that doesn’t have to mean that the relationship can’t survive.
If the relationship is no longer working for the two of you, listen to what your partner has to say about it and make changes along with them – and don’t get stuck in an unhappy relationship because of your stubbornness.
When you choose to accept change, it will help you soon discover and understand each other better.
Don’t play games with your partner instead of facing the real change.
Accept it with some form of gratitude like “good for me” and pasting a smile on your face because that’s the way to go.
8) Avoid using the word “need” in your relationship.
If you’re looking for a partnership that’s going to be a need-to-have relationship, then you might have been disappointed because no one gives out “needs” willingly.
Hence, if you’re feeling a need for something, and if you can’t get it right away or right within your reach, don’t let that become the sole purpose of your life and relationships.
Your girlfriend wants to be in a relationship with someone who inspires and motivates her, who makes her life better, and whose company brings joy and happiness.
And being needy will not give this to her.
You’ll know you are asking for too much when you find yourself saying things like:
- I need this from you…
- I need this from you, but…
- I need you to do this…
- I need you to change your…
- I need to be needed by you…
When you keep saying “need”, it means that your relationship is a one-way street and it’s not all about mutual respect and appreciation.
You’re not being authentic, and you’re putting an unhealthy burden on the other person.
This behavior could make your partner feel guilty or even resentful because they feel like they are being emotionally blackmailed.
So what can you do to let go of this habit of using the word “need” in your relationship?
Begin with yourself. Stop searching for external fixes to sort out your life, deep down, you know this isn’t working.
And that’s because until you look within and unleash your personal power, you’ll never find the satisfaction and fulfillment you’re searching for.
I learned this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. His life mission is to help people restore balance to their lives and unlock their creativity and potential. He has an incredible approach that combines ancient shamanic techniques with a modern-day twist.
In his excellent free video, Rudá explains effective methods to achieve a self-image that’s far from being a needy boyfriend.
So if you want to build a better relationship with yourself, unlock your endless potential, and put passion at the heart of everything you do, start now by checking out his genuine advice.
9) Give your girlfriend space
I know you understand that your relationship is special, and you don’t want to mess it up.
If you keep on clinging to her, the tendency is you’re going to overlook that she has needs and wants, and as a result, she’ll feel even less connected to you.
You basically treat her like a possession instead of a person, which is not fair or healthy on any level.
Consider giving your girlfriend some space so that she can get some fresh air in order to keep her focus on herself and the things that matter to her, not only on you.
As a man, you want to be a supportive boyfriend and make sure that she feels comfortable sharing her emotions with you without feeling any shame or doubts.
But often your insecurities get the better of you. This could make her choose not to talk to you as much as she probably would want.
You might find yourself thinking that if she loves you and cares for you, then somehow she shouldn’t have many reasons to be unhappy or upset and would just accept your dependency.
Give her a break and let her let down her hair.
Does she want to spend the night out with her friends? Let her.
Does she want to comfort a male friend who’s in need of her? Make her.
Does she want to put her phone down to focus on her tasks at school or at work? Then give it to her.
As harsh as it may sound, your girlfriend doesn’t need to revolve her world around you. And it’s the same for you.
Listen to this: this space between you and your girlfriend is an important part of a happy and lasting relationship.
10) Boost your self-esteem
Trust me when I say that self-esteem is the driving factor in your relationship.
It is the quality that makes you value yourself, not others. It is the quality that makes you want to be happy with yourself and boost your confidence.
Without self-esteem, both men and women can’t feel good about themselves or happily express themselves in a relationship.
A person with low self-esteem might not be able to sustain a healthy and lasting relationship.
There are many factors that can cause low self-esteem, yet there are also ways for it to be improved.
Some ways are:
- Try to look into your own heart and mind, what it is that you’re feeling like, especially when you’re around your girlfriend.
- Listen to the things and opinions of your family, friends, and colleagues. Know that it is okay for you to be yourself. Allow them to see who exactly you are and what really matters to you most in life.
- Teach yourself how to identify and claim personal power as a man with low self-esteem. Trust your instincts about what makes for a healthy relationship or not, including the neediness of one partner or not.
Every change to better starts with a single step, and you may start yours today.
11) Practice gratitude, no matter what
This seems like a piece of simple advice but it is hard to do when you’re in the middle of feeling needy or desperate.
What makes this skill difficult is that it’s not something that you can learn from your parents, friends, or schools. You have to practice it and experience it in real life. This can only be possible when you pay attention and keep an open heart.
You will first feel grateful for the smallest things such as noticing the colors changing on your way to work, being able to look out of a window and see the beautiful view, saying good morning, or even just describing what you like about another person to them.
To put it directly: gratitude will help you become a better person in every aspect of life, including your relationships and how they are going or not going.
If you don’t practice gratitude and only wait for it to happen, then you will never become a better and happier person.
When you practice gratitude in your relationship, do it as if you’re doing it for the very first time. And in everything that you do, just focus on the positive and enjoy being grateful for every moment.
No matter how small or big or unique the experience is, acknowledge your appreciation for it and be grateful for this gift of life.
Gratitude can help everyone to feel not so needy or desperate all the time by filling their hearts with positive energy that they can bring into their relationships.
When you put aside your own self-concern, be a man of consideration and honor your girlfriend.
This might seem like an impossible task, but it’s not. Once you practice the tips listed above, some aspects will change overnight, while other actions might take some time to see results.
Just keep in mind that it’s possible to have a relationship with a needy person or someone who doesn’t recognize their own worth, but there can always be steps for that person to achieve a positive self-image.
If one day you can finally decide to let go of this needy side of yourself, do it. And if you’d like to have a healthy, lasting relationship, then don’t forget about these steps.
Again, don’t be afraid to let go of your neediness.
And if there is a chance for your relationship to improve, you should take it now.
Change for the better, for both of you.